Amanda Duke

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April Fools Day pranks to play on roommates

Tomorrow is April Fools Day, the one time of year that people expect to be pranked, but usually forget that the day is April 1. The easiest person to pull a prank on is your roommate.

Here are four pranks to fool your roommate.

1. The no prank prank

All day tell your roommate to watch out for some big elaborate prank that you are pulling on them. They will be watching their back all day waiting for this huge prank, but the prank is that there is actually no prank.

2. Egg head

Get three eggs and a friend who will do anything for money. Tell your friend that you will give them $50 to crack three eggs over their head. After they crack two of the three eggs, walk away and say you got bored and it wasn’t as fun as you thought it would be. Since they did not crack the three eggs, you do not have to pay them at all.

3. Upside down cups

Get a few cups and fill them with water about half way. Clear your kitchen table or counter. Place an index card over the opening of one of the cups and flip the cup over and place it on the table. Do this for all of the cups you filled with water. Your roommates will have a tough time trying to move the cups without getting water all over the place.

4. Soda and soy sauce

If your roommate drinks soda like it is water, this prank is perfect. Fill an empty bottle of their favorite soft drink with Sprite and then add in some soy cause to make it the brown color of other sodas. Your roommate will be unpleasantly surprised for sure.

11 memes meaningful in the life of a 49er

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All photos by: Ben Coon, Chris Crews, Amanda Duke, Sean Grier and NT File Photos

CAB to host annual spring talent show

On Thursday, March 12, Campus Activity Board (CAB) will be hosing their Spring Talent Show. It will start at 7 p.m. in McKnight Hall in the Cone Center. Admission is free and is open to the public.

Contestants will be competing for a chance at $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third.

In the past, participants have done things such as dance, sing, rap and play musical instruments.

Last years first place winner, Denzel Fleming, won by performing a rap and a poem. The second place winner also performed a rap, accompanied by backup dancers and as well as a music video. The third place winners were a duo that performed a lyrical dance in matching costumes.

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Last years talent show winner, Denzel Fleming,

 

There will be many wonderful acts this year performing at the CAB Talent Show.

Foodie Friday: Wild Wing Cafe

Wild Wing Cafe is home of some great wings. With 33 different flavors of wings, there is always something new to try. You can get boneless or traditional wings or even get half of each.

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Photo by Amanda Duke

 

Wild Wing Cafe offers many other dishes other than wings. They have burgers, salads, sandwiches and appetizers. When I go to Wild Wing Cafe, it is usually on Tuesdays for Trivia Night and eight for eight wings. With that deal, you buy eight wings and get eight free. But this week I noticed something new on the menu.

Since I visit Wild Wing Cafe every week, when I opened the menu to pick my flavors for my wings, I noticed a new insert in the menu. It was a special called  “3 Point Platters” where you get to pick three items from a select menu for $12.99.

There is 10 different items to chose from and they all seemed delicious. I ordered boneless wings, cheeseburger bites and buffalo chicken dip. With this platter, I got five wings, two mini burgers and dip with chips. It was way too much food for me to even eat and I ended up with left overs.

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3 Point Platter with boneless wings, buffalo chicken dip and mini burgers. Photo by Amanda Duke

 

I always enjoy going to Wild Wing Cafe because not only is Trivia Night super fun, but I like the atmosphere and the service is very good. I suggest you stop by one Tuesday night for trivia or even when a big game is on to kick back, relax and enjoy some good food.

Thirsty Thursday: Tropicana raspberry lemonade

Tropicana makes a lot of different types of juices and they are all delicious. One of their hidden gems, is the raspberry lemonade. It is as sweet as a summer day, something we long for all winter long.

The great thing about Tropicana’s juices, is that they also make all of the same juices with less sugar as well as calories.

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Trop50 is available at Outtakes on campus in different flavors. Photo by Amanda Duke

 

These juices are called Trop50. They have 50% less sugar and calories than the normal version of the juice. They also taste exactly the same so you do not feel like you are drinking a diet-like drink.

You can buy the 12 ounce bottle of this juice at Outtakes for $2.19. If you really like the juice, you can buy a gallon of it from Target, Harris Teeter and Walmart.

Thirsty Thursday: Wendy’s strawberry lemonade

Though the weather has been warm lately, it still isn’t summer. You think the days of swimming and lemonade drinking are gone until next summer. Well think again.

Wendy’s strawberry lemonade has been around for a while and if you have not had it yet, head over to the Student Union and try it the first chance you get. The lemonade is the perfect amount of sweetness, while the strawberry adds a fruity flavor. This drink it the perfect way to make it feel like summer even though we are still stuck in the middle of the winter.

Wendy’s offers a small strawberry lemonade for $2.09 and a large for $3.19.

You can also make this drink at home.

You will need lemonade mix, strawberry jelly and ice.

Photo by Amanda Duke

To make it, prepare the lemonade mix as directed. Then put a teaspoon of strawberry jelly into a cup. Fill about half of the cup with ice, then add the lemonade.

Twelve days of treats: Reese’s pieces peanut butter cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are an easy favorite, but try substituting Reese’s pieces for a yummy and festive twist!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces Candies
Reese's pieces cookies will delight all the peanut butter lovers. Photo by Amanda Duke
Reese’s pieces cookies will delight all the peanut butter lovers. Photo by Amanda Duke
Directions
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and egg into a bowl and mix until the mixture is fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
3. Combine the two mixtures. When the ingredients are fully mixed, add in the Reese’s Pieces Candies.
4. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until they are browned.

Twelve days of treats: sugar cookie kisses

These cookies are a Christmas classic. For an extra festive twist, use Hershey’s candy cane kisses.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 24 Hershey’s Kisses
These cookies are simple and delicious. Photo by Amanda Duke
These cookies are simple and delicious. Photo by Amanda Duke

Directions:

1. Mix the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and the sugar until it is a light color and fully mixed. Add the egg and milk to that bowl and mix until fully combined.  Then, mix both bowls of mixture into one bowl.

2. Divide the dough in half and wrap it in waxed paper. Place in the fridge for two hours.

3. After two hours, take the dough out, sprinkle some powdered sugar on a table or counter and roll out the dough. Only use one half of the dough at a time. Roll it out until it is about a quarter of an inch thick.

4. Cut the dough into circles or other shapes.

5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until they begin to turn a light brown.

6. When you take the cookie out of the oven, wait about two minutes then put unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses in the middle of them.

Semester rewind: 14 moments of fall 2014

This semester really flew by. Let’s take a look back at the most memorable moments of Fall 2014.

Aug. 9: Ferguson controversy erupts

Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown after Brown robbed a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo.

The shooting caused violent protests. Uprisings continued even after the decision not to indict Wilson was announced on Nov. 24. Wilson decided to resign the morning of Nov. 29.

Aug. 11: Robin Williams  dies 

Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

The beloved comedian’s death was deemed a suicide, sparking a larger conversation on mental health and the stigma attached.

Aug. 18: Martian Hall opens on camps

The newest campus housing option opened its doors for the first time this semester.

The residence hall features apartment style living and numerous study rooms and lounges.

Sept. 4: Joan Rivers dies

The entertainment world lost another great this semester with the passing of Joan Rivers after she spent weeks in a coma.

Now who will remind the stars just how awful some of their red carpet looks are?

Sept. 17: iPhone 6 and iOS 8 are released

Apple released their newest upgrades this semester with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

iOS 8 was met with mixed reviews, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are big hits.

Sept. 23: Ebole fear strikes America

The Ebola craze hit America in full force at the end of September.

People hid in fear of catching this fatal disease.

Sept. 26: First community garden built on campus

UNC Charlotte’s first community garden hosted its build day on Sept. 26 between Storrs and Robinson Halls on campus.

The garden has carrots, lettuce, herbs, chards, peas and many other produce items. The produce will be donated to off campus non-profit organizations and to Chartwells for use on campus.

Oct. 11: Buddy Walk held at football stadium

The Buddy Walk was the first public event to ever be held in Jerry Richardson Stadium.

The Buddy Walk was hosted by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC) and raised donations and awareness for the disease.

In addition to this being the first community event held in the football stadium, it was also the first year in the events’ 16 years that it was not held at Freedom Park.

Oct. 15: N. Tryon Street closes until May 2015

A section of N. Tryon Street at Mallard Creek Church Road has been closed since Oct. 15, making Cookout almost impossible to get to.

Make sure to avoid this intersection when venturing out for your late night milkshake craving.

The road will reopen in May 2015 … or so we’re told.

Oct. 22: Chance the Rapper performs for Homecoming concert

For the 2014 Homecoming concert, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) brought Chance the Rapper to campus.

Students were able to enjoy the show in Halton Arena for the low cost of $15 for presale tickets.

The show was just one of many exciting Homecoming events that were put on this year.

Other events included the lights parade, Habitat for Humanity build and tailgating that led up to the main event: the Charlotte 49ers football game against James Madison University.

Nov. 4: Midterm elections

Photo curtesy of Tribune News Service

Voters flocked to their appropriate voting stations to vote for state representatives.

Thom Tillis won the open Senate seat for North Carolina and the Republicans took control of the house.

Nov. 6: UNC Charlotte police Lieutenant resigns

Lieutenant Shawn Smith put in a letter of resignation after a sexual assault case involving himself and another member of campus police reached the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Nov. 12: Kim Kardashian breaks the internet

Kim Kardashian debuted her nude “Paper” magazine cover via Instagram using the hashtag “break the internet.”

Kardashian almost did just that. Her photo has since been parodied numerous times, including a fan favorite, Ellen’ DeGeneres’ Christmas card.

Nov. 13: Taylor Swift sells 1 million albums, removes music from Spotify.

Taylor Swift made headlines this year for something other than who she’s rumored to be dating. Her latest album “1989” sold 1 million copies in one week, the first to do so in 2014.

Also, she removed all of her music from Spotify, claiming that music is art and should be paid for.

“Hair grows back, kids don’t”

A group of students supporting the cause at Burchette's (center) fundraising event. Photo courtesy of Marissa Burchette
A group of students supporting the cause at Burchette’s (center) fundraising event. Photo courtesy of Marissa Burchette

Marissa Burchette may seem like a typical college junior, double majoring in biology and psychology and striving to be a doctor, but at first sight you will notice one thing, she is bald.

Some people may be shocked that someone would choose to cut off over two feet of hair, but Burchette found a cause she was passionate about and put together a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an organization based out of California that raises money for childhood cancer research. The group funds the most childhood cancer research grants than any other organization. The events this organization holds are all volunteer based. At these events, people voluntarily have their heads shaved.

A few summers ago, Burchette was attending a program at Duke University where she shadowed doctors. The day that she shadowed a doctor in the pediatric ICU took an emotional toll on her. It was, “nothing like you would see on television” she said. The doctors had said how some of the kid’s parents have abandoned the children. Seeing these kids who are so sick and helpless was an eye opening experience for her.

Burchette first got the idea to host a St. Baldrick’s head shaving event back in April, when she and a friend attended a Charlotte Checkers game. She noticed a table with a girl seated behind it who was bald. This piqued her curiosity, so she went up and talked to the girl.

The girl at the table said that she had hosted a St. Baldrick’s head shaving event, and some of the Checkers players had come to shave their heads. Burchette thought it was an awesome idea, so she in turn looked into hosting her own event.

Her idea finally turned into a reality in September, when Burchette hosted her very own event in UNC Charlotte’s Cone Center, where she shaved her head.

Food was donated by Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), a professional sorority, Psychology Student Coalition and Phi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. There were also games such as Cornhole. Over 80 people showed up, including students and professors.

Burchette was even able to provide live entertainment. She posted an ad on Craigslist, listing that she was hosting this event and was looking for local talent. Megan Flechaus, a local Charlotte artist, replied and came to perform at Burchette’s St. Baldrick’s event.

Burchette was one of 13 people who shaved their heads at the event. She was happy that there were two other girls who shaved their heads along with her so that she wasn’t alone in cutting off feet of hair.

After she shaved her head, Burchette regularly donned a scarf over her head, and began noticing people were being nicer to her. She got compliments on her head scarf, people held doors open for her and she even got free food from McDonalds one time. She said that she thought these things happened because people probably assumed she had cancer.

“It is good to know that there are people out there in humanity who still care enough for people,” Burchette said. It was different from what she was used to, and people stared, but she didn’t mind because she felt she was getting a point across.

“There is nothing I get in exchange for helping these kids who can’t grow hair,” Burchette said. “Hair grows back, kids don’t.”

Burchette wants to host a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser every year on campus. It’s a lot of work to put together with the help of only a few people, but she hopes to get a group of students interested to help plan the event every year. On other college campuses, events like these grow bigger and bigger every year. Burchette is dedicated to the cause and plans to get even more people involved in coming years.

Ways to scare your roommates this Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, you may want to scare your roommates and friends. There are easy ways to scare them with things you probably already have around your apartment.

Here are some cool ways to scare them and also get in a good laugh.

1. Go to your local dollar store and pick up some fake bugs. Put them in your roommates’ bed, food or just laying around your apartment. The dollar store has some real looking bugs that will creep your roommate out.

Put some bugs in your own food to make it seem that you weren’t the one to do it.

2. Get some bendy straws, a box of Jell-O and a rubber band. Take 15 to 20 straws and wrap them with a rubber band and put them in a cup so they will stand up. Pour the Jell-O into the straws and place them in the fridge until the Jell-O is done.

When you take the straws out of the fridge, lift them up to get the Jell-O out. They should look a bit like worms. Place them in the shower or in some food for a delicious way to scare your friends.

3. When your roommate isn’t home, use some liquid dish soap and write a creepy message on the bathroom mirror. When they go to take a shower, your message will appear on the mirror.

This works well if you each have your own bathroom because they will not know that you planned it out a head of time.

4. Here is another way to scare your roommate in the shower. If they turn the shower on and let it run for a few minutes before getting in, put some red Kool-Aid powder in the showerhead. When they turn the shower on, it will look like blood.

Only do this one if they aren’t in a rush to go anywhere. The Kool-Aid may take a little while for the water to run clear again.

5. For a funny little prank, put googly eyes on everything in the fridge. This may take a while, but it is a funny way to make your roommates laugh. It also makes all of your food look funny.

Thirsty Thursday: cherry and lemon French soda

Recently I became obsessed with going to the World Market. If you have never been to World Market, I strongly suggest you go. They have things from all over the world such as food, kitchen supplies, furniture and little trinkets.
When I was there on Saturday, I found a French soda called Sparkling Artisanal Cherry and Lemon. It is basically carbonated cherry lemonade and it was amazing.
Being a huge lemonade fan, I was really excited to get home and try it. It came in a fancy looking bottle that I will definitely be saving for decoration.
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Photo by: Amanda Duke
If you have ever had the San Pellegrino sparkling lemonade, it is a bit the same. This French soda was a bit sweeter and a little lemonier.  I typically do not like carbonated drinks, but this sparkling cherry lemonade was very good and satisfying.
The World Market had different flavors of French sparkling soda such as mango, lemon and strawberry lemonade and they are only $5. I am defiantly going to go back and try other flavors soon. ​

Tea time

When trying to pull an all-nighter or waking up in the morning, many college students turn to coffee to wake themselves up.

What they do not know is that tea not only has the same effects as coffee, but it also has long and short-term health benefits.

Different types of tea have distinctive health benefits that come with drinking them.

Green tea has antioxidants that can lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Green tea helps prevent not only cancer, but also Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as well. Because this tea helps improve your brain function, it can help you be a better thinker now and prevent diseases later on in life.

Another type of tea, Earl Grey tea, has dental benefits. Drinking coffee stains your teeth, but Earl Grey is a black tea, which contains fluoride.

A 2013 study showed that after giving laboratory animals black tea, there was 64 percent less cavities than those not drinking the tea.

Of course during the semester many college students may become stressed. Passion tea helps reduce stress, insomnia and anxiety. This tea has a high amount of GABA, a gamma amino butyric acid, which calms the body and brain.

This passion tea does not have caffeine in it so it will not make you awake or hyper, but instead calm you down. There are many different types of passion tea, such as rose hips, cinnamon, hibiscus and licorice.

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Chamomile tea is a great, natural sleep aid. Photo by Amanda Duke

These different types of passion tea can help osteoarthritis, digestive issues, lower blood pressure and help prevent ulcers.

Ginger tea is another tea with great benefits. It can help curb nausea and other stomach problems – if you can get past the bitter taste.

Drinking tea with nothing in it is zero calories. Several studies show that because of this, tea can help your metabolism, weight management and also improve weight loss.

To stay healthy and hydrated, we are supposed to drink eight glasses of water every day. Water can be replaced with tea because tea will keep your body just as hydrated as water would.

However, if your tea is highly caffeinated, it will not keep you hydrated.

When looking at which tea to buy, read the benefits that are usually listed on the back.

You will know exactly how that specific tea is helping your body.

All of these types of tea and more are served daily at the Starbucks on campus as well as off campus.

You can also buy them at Harris Teeter or Walmart.

Strike a pose

Yoga has been growing in popularity. It teaches breathing techniques and meditation, as well as stretching muscles. Some studies show that doing yoga leads to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

The practice of yoga started over 5,000 years ago and there are more than 100 different schools, or types, of yoga. 

Some of these schools are Health Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Each school of yoga is different, but they all tie together in the sense that they focus on health and breathing techniques. 

Yoga helps release stress which is one of the many reasons that people practice it. You can improve your brain function and increase flexibility after just one class. 

After a few months of practicing, you will lower your blood pressure and can relieve chronic back pain. 

Once you have been practicing for a year, you will have stronger bones and lower risk of heart disease. 

Each different yoga pose has its own benefits for your health. 

The warrior pose helps work on your balance and posture. It is usually used as a warm-up pose and there are different variations depending on your level of experience.

To do this pose, you get into a lunge position and put your body weight on your front foot. Turn your back foot on a little bit of an angle and place one arm in front of your body and the other behind it. 

Warrior pose

Different yoga poses have modifications so that you do not strain your body or hurt yourself when you first start practicing. 

It is strongly recommended that you start with beginner’s poses rather than the harder ones to lessen your chance of getting hurt.

Extended triangle pose is a little like the warrior pose. To start, you get into a lunge position. If your right foot is in the front, place your right hand on your ankle. For a deeper stretch, put your hand on the floor.

When doing the extended triangle pose, you may feel unbalanced. A tip is to place your back foot against a wall to keep yourself from moving too much. 

This pose is also good for relieving stress and back pains. 

The tree pose is a great pose to do if you want to work on your balance. 

For this pose you stand straight up and place the heel of one of your feet as far up as you can on your opposite legs thigh. 

You then place your hands upward. You can also place your hands together above your head, but it is a little bit more difficult.

Tree pose

Sometimes beginners find that they cannot place their foot up on their thigh as high as others. You will still get the same benefits if you place your foot lower on your leg. Once you become more comfortable with the pose, move your foot up your leg a little bit at a time. 

One thing to be wary of is not to place the arch of your foot around your knee. Either place the foot above or below the knee, whichever is best for your practice. 

If you have tight quads, an aching back or tight hamstrings, you should do the low lunge, or runner’s lunge, pose. 

To do this pose, get into a lunge position and lower your back leg’s shin to lie flat on the ground. Place all of your body weight on your front leg and place your hands above your head. If you have an aching back, lean backwards a little bit while keeping your lower body in place. 

If you are interested in yoga, there are a few places around campus that offer cheap classes. 

If you do not have access to a car, there are classes Monday through Friday in the Student Activity Center. The classes are Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 a.m. and again at 8 p.m. 

There are also two yoga studios nearby. Gotta Yoga Studio is located at 9359 Pinnacle Drive, Charlotte. Their classes are $15 if you show up at the door, but it is recommended you sign up in advance. They also have $5 or $7 community classes in order to make yoga more affordable. 

Another place to go is Yoga One located at 10039 University City Blvd., Charlotte, 28223. They have a first month special where you pay $31 for 31 days of classes.